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Sedona PhotoFest

Sedona PhotoFest Returns with Free Talks and Presentations at Mary D Fisher Theatre, Courtyard by Marriott, and Sedona Arts Center June 14–16, 2019

Sedona PhotoFest 2019 will educate and inspire photographers and enthusiasts of every level with three days of FREE talks, presentations and workshops. Sedona Photofest includes technical and artistic insights and personal stories across a wide spectrum of interests including photojournalism, aerial photography, iPhoneography, impressionistic photography manipulations and much more. This year, Sedona Photofest presents 11 speakers, 4 workshops and a Patron Party where guests can mingle with photographers and view 4 rare pieces from the Marilyn Monroe: Golden Dreams Collection!

The festival begins at Courtyard by Marriott on Friday, June 14 from 4 to 7pm with a panel discussion, “Photo Tech and the Creative Process” a Q&A with photographers Michael Seeley, Pam Taylor, Charles Ruscher, Bob Coates, and Mal Cooper. Guests are invited to attend the opening evening with questions in mind as these five incredibly diverse photographers share insights into their creative process and the tech they use. 


Mary D Fisher Theatre

Saturday, June 15 the free talks begin at Mary D Fisher Theatre with Michael Seeley, “Chasing Rockets” from 9 to 10:30 am. Mike comes to Sedona from Melbourne, Florida and is the co-founder of We Report Space. His photographs are seen widely on social media, including in National Geographic Magazine, USA Today, Florida Today, The Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, The Weather Channel, SpaceFlight Insider, Universe Today, and We Report Space. Mike is an accredited media photographer and you will often find him at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station capturing images of the exciting equipment being built and NASA and SpaceX launches. 

Next up is an exciting talk by Al Babbitt. In 2010, Al purchased the original and unique film positives and negatives used by Baumgarth Co. to produce the 1950’s Marilyn Monroe Golden Dreams pin up calendars. Al will be speaking from 10:30 am to 12 pm at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, about the history of Marilyn Monroe, the iconic Golden Dreams collection and the color separation process. Original Monroe large format color separations will be exhibited. These pieces are part of the “Messenger Art Collection” represented by Goldenstein Gallery, 6,000 works of art created over 100 years by diverse calendar and promotional companies.


Courtyard by Marriott

After lunch, the free talks move to Courtyard by Marriott in West Sedona, this year’s exclusive hotel sponsor at Sedona Photofest. The afternoon kicks off with Ted Grussing sharing his unique aerial photography from 1 to 2 pm. His photography is not limited to the airborne version of landscape photography, instead, he creates mesmerizing abstracts, close ups of distinctive features of the earth and more. 

Photographer Betty Hum will then share her talk, “Chasing the Light in Movement – From Dance to Birds” from 2 to 2:30 pm. Betty studied photography while practicing law to enable her to capture the feelings and motions of dance, birds, as well as other wildlife. In her transition from law, she has been photographing educational, dance and community events for non-profits in Scottsdale and Phoenix. She is represented by Goldenstein Gallery.

Next, join Bob Coates as he explores what he calls “Photo-Synthesis” from 3 to 4:30 pm. Borrowing techniques from many art genres including photography, watercolor, oil painting and acrylic artists, Bob combines everything into artistic representations that he terms “PhotoSynthesis & Len s Based Art.” According to Coates, “All of my source material comes in through a camera lens, but then all bets are off! I’ve been working on blending images and techniques for the last five to six years. As a bonus I’ve been exploring the reality  utilizing artist brushwork that behaves the same in the digital realm.” Bob will be teaching a 2-day Crash Course at Sedona Arts Center from July 1 to 2. 

Join Jordan Reece as he shares “World Journalism” from 5 to 6:30 pm. Raised in the southern Arizona desert, Jordan developed a fascination with the unique culture and vibrant scenery. Jordan, wears many hats as a professional photojournalist, as well as a wedding and landscape photographer. Jordan will be sharing his experiences from around the world and his creative process. 

On Saturday evening renowned Sedona wedding photographer Bonnie Miller will be teaching a free workshop on “Coaching for Lifestyle Photography” from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. If you are a lifestyle photographer one of your jobs is to make your images look natural–not stiff, not awkward, and definitely not staged. Your audience should see your images as moments that were going to happen regardless of whether or not you were there to capture it. Bonnie will teach you how to direct your models into the role that fits and adds to the mood of your shoot. This will help to bring out the candid feeling and will make your images seem much more natural.

The evening ends with a Patron Party on the observation deck at Courtyard by Marriott in support of Sedona Photofest from 6:30 to 9 pm. You’ll have an opportunity to mingle with our presenting photographers and speakers in a relaxed evening under the beautiful Sedona sky, practice some night photography, and view original Marylin Monroe large format color separations. Tickets are $40 per guest, with limited availability. Cash bar available until 8 pm. Tickets on sale at


Mary D Fisher Theatre

Sunday morning begins at Mary D Fisher Theatre where you’ll learn how to “Give Your Creative Genius a Voice through Photography” from 9 to 10:30 am with Charles Ruscher. Charles combines his love of beauty, nature, adventure and people into a creative outlet where he seeks to produce extraordinary works of art. He has a deep connection to the night sky and this love of the stars calls him out quite often. His late-night forays into nature is also a time for him to find peace, contemplate life, and be in constant appreciation of our magnificent planet. Charles is also teaching a Starry Starry Night Photography Workshop at Sedona Arts Center June 22–23, 2019. 

Amateur photographer, Romy Reiner will be speaking next from 11am to 12:30pm. Romy was born and raised in Los Angeles California. For most of her life, she has been heavily involved in the arts, exploring multiple mediums including drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography. She shares all of her work raw and unedited, allowing the viewer to experience her vision as she did the moment each photograph was captured. 

“I really started taking art seriously when I was about 12 years old, during the summer between 5th and 6th grade—when I was fortunate enough to take a trip with my family to Africa. We traveled to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. That was my first experience with photography. Since then, I knew I had a deep love and connection with the camera.”

Finally, Pam Taylor will present, “From Decisive Moment to Beauty Revealed” from 1 to 2pm. Pam is a much-published, well-travelled freelance editorial photographer who is expanding to softer, more creative art. As a young photojournalist covering conflict in Latin America she learned photo craft while covering conflict. Those images have been published in New York Times, Washington Post, Time, and Newsweek magazines. In Thailand and China she photographed medical research projects for the United States Army. Her photojournalism skills, such as the ability to navigate the street, shoot fast action, read a situation, and connect with people have helped her in documenting performing arts such as dance, aerial silks, and fire dancers. From her immersion in documentary she brings a strong sense of social justice and an underlying commitment to honoring people. 


Courtyard by Marriott

Mal Cooper, “Jack of All Trades, Master of 9” will be speaking from 3 to 4:30pm at Courtyard by Marriott. Mal hails from New Zealand, known in Maori as the “Land of the Long White Cloud.” She has won numerous awards in photojournalism as the lead photographer of the Sedona Red Rock News, and has worked as a photographer documenting HERO humanitarian efforts in Nicaragua and Mainpat, India. She currently teaches high school photography in Sedona where she shares her passion for photography with young people, focusing on the camera lens as both a means of artistic expression and capturing the human experience.

Next, Kelli Klymenko will give a presentation on iPhoneography from 4:30 to 5:30 pm. Kelli is an artist photographer and the Marketing Director for Sedona Arts Center. Kelli filmed and photographed the 2014–2015 Sedona Chamber of Commerce television commercials and marketing campaign (billboards, print, web) seen on His images, including iPhone photos can be found on Getty Images, in the 2014–2018 Experience Sedona Guides, in multiple national ads, and in creative projects around the world. 


Sedona Arts Center

The final talk of the day, “Finding Other Worlds” with Joe Llama will take place at Sedona Arts Center from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. Joe has been a photographer for the past 10 years, specializing in landscape and nightscape photography. As an astronomer at Lowell Observatory, he hopes to capture some of the stunning locations he has had the fortune to visit. Originally from Wales in the UK he has had the opportunity to photograph many countries in Europe and now the desert Southwest of the United States.

After Joe’s talk, stop down in the lower parking lot behind the Historic Art Barn at Sedona Arts Center for a free and open to the public Star Party sponsored and hosted by Lowell Observatory. There will be two 12” Teeter telescopes and a third Lowell representative giving constellation tours from 8 to 10 pm. Come see why Sedona is a Dark Sky community and experience our brilliant night sky with a little help from our friends at Lowell Observatory!


Sedona Photofest 2019 is sponsored by: Sedona Chamber of Commerce, Goldenstein Gallery, Sedona International Film Festival, Lowell Observatory, and Sedona Arts Center, with giveaways donated by Sedona Giclee. For more information, to purchase Patron Event tickets, or to sign up for workshops, please visit




Jun 14, 2019 - Jun 16, 2019


Sedona AZ

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